Hotline Miami has become its own little niche phenomenon and its spawned a legion of clones... actually, no; it hasn't. The reality is that Hotline Miami is its thing and there aren't as many clones on the market as you might think... mainly because the top-down shooter market has already been richly satiated in generations passed.
However, there are imitators in the works; flattery from those in the indie market who would like to take what Hotline Miami did and then crank it up a notch and add some Woo to it. I'm talking about The Hong Kong Massacre, a small title from developer Vreski Games.
The Hong Kong Massacre can best be described as Hotline Miami meets a John Woo flick. The game takes great care and measure in its depiction of bullet effects, explosions and blood splatter.
But don't take my word for it (and you never really have to), just check out the prototype footage of the game below and see what Vreski has up their sleeve.
YouTube user Drekker Mcabre appropriately responded to the video with...
Chow Yun Fat approves.
I wholeheartedly agree.
The game takes on a bit of a Max Payne vibe with the slow-motion, bullet-time feature, allowing the player to methodically pick shots and pull off the spinning butterfly attack made famous in many of Woo's films that starred legendary Hong Kong action star Chow Yun Fat.
Players can also dual-wield and spin around, taking out multiple enemies as if they're performing classic bullet-ballet, just like Max Payne 2, which was strangely absent from Max Payne 3. You can see how it works in action with the gif below.
I love the look and distinct bullet mechanics in the game. Shooting up the wall, windows and even enemies results in a satisfying display of explosive material or gib. It looks like a top-down take on John Woo's Hard Boiled.
While Hotline Miami obviously didn't start the top-down shooter genre, it certainly revolutionized it with the one-hit kill mechanics, knockdown features, using doors as weapons and strategically setting up and plotting kills before you made them. Even though GTA started as a top-down shooter, it certainly was a better driving game than it was a shooter game due to the strange and clunky controls at the time.
Hopefully The Hong Kong Massacre will be the next step up from what Dennaton Games has already achieved.
You can learn more about the game over on TIG Source, where there's a descriptive entry on the forum where you can get a bit more beef on the story and mechanics.